Ohio bars, restaurants banned from serving alcohol after 10 p.m.

Ohio bars/restaurants now banned from serving alcohol after 10:00pm
Ohio bars/restaurants now banned from serving alcohol after 10:00pm(WTVG)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 7:02 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Last call will now be coming for Ohio bars and restaurants a lot earlier. New alcohol sales rules for bars and restaurants are now in effect.

No alcohol can be served at bars and restaurants past 10:00pm.

It’s a blow to businesses like the VI in Sylvania. The VI opened its doors for the first time in the world of COVID. It’s all this staff and customers know there. Now another twist with no alcohol served after 10:00pm.

“Let’s just say I was golfing yesterday when I heard the news. I started to play a lot worse afterwards,” said Jeremy Fitzgerald, VI co-owner.

Fitzgerald, who owns others bars and restaurants throughout the area, believes this move will hurt lots of people. “It’s not only going to affect us and the business, it’s going to affect our employees because we’re going to have to lay more people off,” said Fitzgerald.

So why is this happening? Governor Mike DeWine says it’s a way to limit crowds, crowds that can spread COVID-19.

“They do lend themselves to people going in and out in close contact with each other, many, many times indoors. Patrons stay at one location, sometimes for a long time, or they go from bar to bar. Either way they’re interacting with a lot of people,” said DeWine.

A lawyer for bar owners statewide argued in front of the Liquor Control Commission Friday that bars are being singled out, especially ones doing the right thing.

“There is a real fear that this industry is being scapegoated. Yesterday we had record number of positive tests in Ohio. And the governor’s entire safety plan was to shut down bars four hours early. This is unrealistic it’s unfair and we believe it to be unlawful,” said Edward Hastie.

It’s on the books, for now, at the VI and across Ohio. “I don’t think it’s going to last very long. Couple of weeks hopefully. This is the new norm,” said Fitzgerald.

You can still buy alcohol at a carryout, store that is open and selling after 10pm. Just not a bar or restaurant.

The amount of to-go drinks has increased from 2-3.

Fitzgerald says at some of his other places they’ll change hours and now promote happy hour. All in an effort to stay afloat.

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